Step up and reject weak rules on food speculation


02 February 2017

Its been a long fight to stop corporations from treating food as a gambling chip in the financial markets. Back in 2008, prices for staple foods like wheat and corn rocketed to record levels in the global food crisis, unleashing hunger and social unrest in many countries. Banks and corporations had played a key role in driving up food prices through excessive speculation, leading to increased poverty and hunger globally.

Together with our European allies, we campaigned for new EU legislation to tackle excessive food speculation. And in 2014 we won. So what's brought this back on the agenda? The European commission has been working on the details to implement the legislation over the past three years and at last, it has published its final proposal. Unfortunately, the detailed rules aren't good enough and have the hallmarks of the powerful financial lobby written all over them. The proposed rules are massively weak and will undermine the hard-fought for legislation rendering it ineffective to curb food speculation. 

The only way to salvage the legislation is for MEPs to reject these weak rules in an upcoming vote in mid-February. This rejection relies on a majority of MEPs to vote in this way. Otherwise, we will be left with regulation that will still allow excessive levels of food speculation leaving millions across the world vulnerable to volatile and unstable food prices.

What about Brexit?

The legislation will come into effect in January 2018 so the UK will still be in the EU and the UK will have to adopt the directive into national law. However, where the uncertainty lies - as with all things Brexit - is what deal Theresa May will negotiate on the financial services sector. 

What we do know for now is that the legislation will come into force next January and we need to make sure it has teeth. It's a tall order to get the majority of all MEPs in the European parliament to vote for a rejection and so every single vote counts. If ever we need a people's victory over corporate greed, it's now. 

Ask your MEP to use their vote to reject weak, ineffective rules.

Tags:

Blog

Coronavirus is killing the poor far more than the rich. A vaccine must be free for everyone

Pneumonia is killing 2,000 people every day. But not because of coronavirus. For nearly twenty years, millions of children have not had access to the patented vaccine manufactured by Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline due to its high cost, which has generated billions in profit for those corporations.

Our online fundraiser to support displaced communities in Calais proves social distancing doesn't mean social apathy


13 May 2020

On Wednesday 6 May, Our Future Now (OFN) held an online fundraiser in support of the work of Calais Food Collective (CFC), an organisation providing essential food services for displaced communities in Calais and Dunkirk in France. Over 2000 refugees from various war-torn places are currently displaced in Northern France, and have found themselves in a perpetual state of uncertainty and marginalisation as European countries reject their claims to asylum.

Where the pandemic isn’t (yet) the virus: fearing illness and destitution in Lesotho

Every morning, Google Alerts connects me to news coverage of Lesotho, a small southern African country that I’ve visited regularly since the mid-1990s. Over the past couple of months, the new lexicon of social distancing, lock-down, PCR testing kits and PPE shortages has threaded through the nation’s press, a striking reminder that the coronavirus pandemic is truly global.